Sunday, January 29, 2017

Fiber Talk Podcast...

I was honored to be asked by a Gary and Christine to talk about my love of stitching. I accepted and it was just published today. Get your favorite drink and listen to me blabber :)

Fiber Talk Podcast with Vonna, The Twisted Stitcher

Saturday, January 28, 2017

End of January 2017...

~ Greetings and Warm Welcome ~
my dear friends

January...
what a blur it has been. January was rung in and basically it was a trumpet blaring the beginning of a race. I don't like life when I feel like it is set as if on a foot race.
Since January 6, there have been four deaths in our parish. I am the funeral luncheon lady at our church so that means, organizing the events, calling for food, ordering chicken....then of course on the day of the funeral getting there really early in the morning to set up, make drinks, set tables, get all the dishes, silverware, on and on...
I love to serve the families, I just can't believe all the funerals we have had at our parish in the last year. It has been one right after the other and nearly like a part-time job. Yesterday was #4, and it was an all-day affair. Let's hope that is the last one for awhile, myself and all my helpers - the servers, the food preparers, the cleaner-uppers...we all need a break. May it be so.

I have been stitching...
although I may not have gotten done what I really wanted to get done.
In fact I have to go back and look at my Instagram Account (@vonnapfeiffer) where I post stitching updates nearly every day...it really is a good way to track your progress, as if shows like a daily diary via pictures of what you stitched! Try it, you all might like it :)

I started on January 12...
my RST Sampler House, and everything was going gangbusters. Here was one evening of stitching: 

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Then the next day, I finished the entire square! I was so happy until I realized that I was over 2 stitches (THE WHOLE BLOCK) to the right....psssst: look at the flower above...you can see that the flower stem leaves are right on the edge of the snow (on the right side) of the square above... then see on the left hand side the flower stem leaves are two stitches inside the grass of the square above) WHAT WAS I THINKING???
...it was in the ditch and not lined up correctly...

UGH... rrrrribbbitttt...

So...
that took the wind right out of my sails for a couple of evenings and horror of horrors. I didn't stitch like for 7 evenings. (I NEVER not stitch...so that shows ~ I really was messed up in the head).

Here it is after I picked the entire block out.

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Then after pouting those 7 evenings, I decided to pick myself back up and get busy. 
Two nights later on January 22, 2017:
It was finished :)

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And here, my friends, is my 
Little House Needleworks 
"ABC Samplers" 
series all on one piece of fabric to date:
ABC Samplers Jan 2017

this photo is completely true to color in real life. 
The fabric is: Vintage Exampler by Lakeside Linens 32 ct. 
I've used all the called for threads. 
I haven't done the box frames around each individual piece as charted and created my own frame around it. And I have decided against a verse (I had one charted, but am afraid it will detract) so I have a new finish at the bottom all figured out! You will have to wait and see! The next pattern has arrived in my mailbox and I will get to it as soon as I can! I can't wait...I am SO CLOSE! to a finish!


Last Sunday...
after the victory of correctly completing the RST square. I decided that I next would stitch something that has been in my "want to stitch" basket. Today, January 28, I finished it. And I'm SO excited to share it with you!

LHN_Land of the Free

"Land of the Free" 
by Little House Needleworks
~ a thread pack available through Classic Colorworks ~
This one is stitched on 28 ct. Evenweave (MCG textiles) that I "baked and basted" myself with tea and coffee. Remember (for my longtime followers) when I did this a lot? For my newbies (or to refresh the oldies) HERE is the how and the why..
Anyway...I couldn't find anything that I had that had the "look" I wanted and so...I decided to pull some of my own dye lot and man it hit the mark!

This one will be framed and hung in my "Patriotic Room"
I know exactly the frame...and I have some ideas.
(Notice that I added a JABCO star for the pot. I love that)

I stitched a portion of this design the year it came out (2015) and made it into a pocket watch necklace: 
Land of the Free Pocket Watch Necklace

Yep...pretty much loved it then too...

So after I got this darling one all stitched up...
I went down to my personal needlework shop in my cave this morning and picked up this:

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"Long May She Wave"
by Little House Needleworks...
Here you will see that I have the thread colors laid out next to each other...
I was so happy with the way "Land of the Free" came out and the colors that just hit that "prim/country" look that I really like and matches in my home so well that I wondered if I could change a few of the colors. So here I was laying out the reds: Ruby Slippers was changed to Manor House (that was in Land of the Free) and Spinach was changed to Weeping Willow (that was from Land of the Free) that's going to give it the look I want in the red and blues. I am keeping the Blacksmith Blue, Eggshell and Roasted Chestnut. I am going to frame all of these separate, in the same frames, as a grouping on the wall and I want them to look similar.

Then when I cut another piece off my "own personal hand dye" vintage and laid it all out:

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WHAMO! isn't that going to be PERFECT?!

OH can't wait...
but I have to finish up a model first before sinking ONE stitch into this one...but I'm anxious!

Now then...
speaking about Little House and Patriotic Room.....
I'm certain that most of you have seen this announcement?


Well.... do I need to even think about it? 
NO!
I'll be setting up an Instagram Stitch-A-long, if you are interested. 
They can be stitched as one and/or as the small pillows. I'm stitching on one. And I think I'm going to dye my own vintage hank of fabric to my own personal specifications for this. We. Will. See.

Have I told you lately how much I love stitching? 
I am truly finding joy in my own stitching journey again. 
I was overloading myself.
too. much.
I am my own best stitching SELF when I am doing what I love and for me!
spreading the joy with others about my personal stitching...encouraging others...enabling them.
That's what I do best. I know where my talents lie.

Speaking of Joy...and journeys....
I had a "God" moment and want to share it with you.
I am really trying very hard to make 2017 MY YEAR of personal evolution.
So I'm reading my bible daily working toward a personal goal of reading the complete thing from 
"In the beginning.." to "Amen."
It is going well. In fact... I am enjoying it so much. I look forward to my time with the bible and the Lord every day. I also am trying to incorporate some reading from other authors that speak to spiritual matters throughout the week.
(Now I still read smut too, but sneaking a few minutes of something mind growing makes me feel good about my mind trashing reads)


So anyway...I digress...
this week I heard - from one of my coworkers at one of the funeral luncheons (there were two this week) - about how it is a "dying to self".... and I had never heard that phrase before (or if I did I had buried it deep into the - I don't want to hear it now crevice in my brain). It struck me... this phrase: dying to self....and I came home and began to research it with my bible and in all the blogs/people I read on spiritual matters.

"For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it." ~Matthew 16:25

Hmmm...I do that...right? I don't need to worry about that. I do that.

Well ....two days later after hearing this phrase, I was reading one of my spiritual growth books and right there in black and white....printed on the page:
...DYING TO SELF...

Whoa! That was twice in like 3 days that this phrase had jumped out at me. 
I'm doing that Lord...that's what I kept thinking. I do for others, I follow you.

Yesterday... at the funeral of a well respected parishioner, I was asked to sing the mass and hymns of the service. I was right up by the alter. Our pastor was giving the eulogy. He is a very wonderful speaker and always I glean much from his sermons and eulogies. He inspires "to be of things of heaven", he really does. Anyway, he's giving the eulogy and right there, with me sitting 20 feet away from him he says, "it is a 'dying to self' ..."

WHAT!?!?!? THREE Times in FIVE days that phrase was given to me.
What did I do right then and there?
I bowed my head and said in my heart, "I hear you Lord, you don't have to smack me with a wet noodle, I hear." So apparently, God is asking me to "dye to myself" and you know what? He's right. I have a pride problem. You can't dye to self with a pride problem. I've spoken to you before about complaining. I do that too. So...with my head screwed on straight and the Lord nearly having to smack me upside the head....I got the message! 

Last night I did some more research...
I can't say it anymore eloquently than Jan Johnson did on her article printed here:


I've got work to do and I'm going to do it!

Have you made it down here?
Thank you, if you have.
I don't often tell you how much I love each and every one of you. 
I do, you know.
And you bring a smile to my face. 
Each visit, each comment, each e-mail.
Brightens my day.

Thank you.

Love and hugs in stitches,
Vonna xxxx


Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Another New Year's Week Finish....

~ Greetings and Warm Welcome ~
We are getting ready for a snow storm to hit Indiana tomorrow morning at 5 a.m.
A winter warning advisory is in effect!
Of course, the day it is supposed to snow hard and large amounts is the first day Keith will be going back to work....
Keith got home today from caring for his Mom and Dad. I'm happy to report that Keith's Mom has rebounded well, it seems from her meniscus repair on her knee. While Keith was there, he and she did some serious talking about the future and what it may hold and what they all need to be thinking about to help her and Keith's Dad. We will see how it all goes.
In the meantime...I'm praying. That's the best, good thing I can do.
:)

Well I finished OPQ Sampler House from the ABC Sampler Series which is currently ongoing with Little House Needleworks. 

Here's the OPQ Sampler House Square

OPQ House LHN


Here is my whole sampler to date, Wednesday, January 4, 2017

ABC Sampler to date 1417

I'm really loving how it is turning out!
32 count Vintage Light Examplar (20 x 20 inches is what I cut my fabric)
Using called for colors 
I'm so glad I have them placed just like I do.
I love them without their square frames around them and I love my simple border.
Yep! I love it!

I want to thank each and every one of your for your kind visits and comments. 
YOU mean the world to me. 

I am happy to report I am doing a self-motivated "read the bible in one year" using the NAB Catholic Bible App on my iPad. So far so good! When I was in college I took an Ancient Literature class where one of the books that we read was the entire Old Testament. I so enjoyed that class and reading the selections each day reminds me of how much I loved that class.

Remember...
if you have any prayers or special intentions just drop me a line at my e-mail address and I'll add you to my journal. It is filling up and it is my sincere honor to pray for those that need/want prayer. I really do feel that it is one of the things God put me on earth to do. 

So until next time...
I'm going to settle in and start stitching the RST House on the next block of the sampler while snowflakes swirl outside my window..
Three more spots and it's almost there! 

Until Next time...
Stitch all the things.
Love your neighbors.
Love yourself.
Be kind.
Be Fabulous while doing it!

Hugs in Stitches, 
Vonna xxxx

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Happy New Year!...

~ Greetings and Warm Welcome ~
and a very...
Happy New Year to you!

2017...
began with a bang and a finish...

Day One ~ Partridge in a Pear Tree
Design: The 12 Days of Christmas 
Designed by: Satsuma Street
Day 1 Sastsuma Street

You may view the Satsuma Street Designs at her Etsy shop: HERE

What drew me to these 12 designs was the vibrant colors and whimsy in each square. You must admit that it is a bold move on my part and definitely a divergent color palette from anything I stitch. It just struck me and I bought it immediately. I will be making mine into ornaments for a 12 Days Tree....but the pattern also comes with a 12 Day Sampler and it is darling as can be as well. Check Satsuma Street out!


Today is the solemnity day of....Mary, the Mother of God.
And my family was there bright and early at sunrise mass this morning, it was a small intimate affair this morning with less than 30 people in attendance. But I always feel it the only way to start the "new" year off. So I woke everyone up and off we went. Here is a snap of the bright eyes and busy tails after we got home :)

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Keith is absent...
because he is at his parent's home this weekend helping to take care of his father (who suffers from Parkinson's and dementia) while his mother recuperates from knee surgery. I'm praying that she makes a quick recovery and that we can run down some help for her inside the home after she's fully well. She is the only caretaker (besides Keith and his brother on very rare occasions). I and my sister-in-law are trying to find an adult sitter to sit with my father-in-law so that Keith's Mom can get out and have a little "me time" every other week. I think my sister-in-law found help through Respite Care and I think I have a lead on another one to fill in some holes if needed above what Respite will cover. It's so hard on her and I feel so badly for her. We are about 1 1/2 hours north of them so the only thing I can do long distance is call every day to let her talk (really I just blab on and on and try to make her laugh). She calls me her "guardian angel" and before we left after celebrating the holidays with them she gave me this:

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It made me cry. 
Sometimes, I just feel like I take and take and never give back adequately. She wanted to give me this and I know that doing so gave her pleasure, but I don't expect anything from calling her. I call her just because I love her and I feel badly for her situation and I know how it can be when you have no one to talk to and you are stuck inside four walls. I think we all can understand that. I wish I could do more for her. I've offered driving down every other week to sit with him while she goes out, but she won't hear of it. So I'll continue talking to her. God gifted me with a big mouth and the gift of gab...and I use it well! I'll have to give her some hip boots to wad through all the BS. 
:)

So I'm not making any plans for 2017 about stitching...
because let's face it folks, I never do a dip diddly thing that I "plan" at the first of the year.

of course I'd like to be healthier in 2017, but I try really hard for that daily anyway, fail a lot at it, but I try - hard. So I'm not going to write anything about losing weigh and yada yada. 
I'm just going to do it.
  (where's that Nike swoosh sign, when you need it?!)

The one true thing that I want to work on in 2017 is my personal relationship with God.
I struggle in my faith walk. I really do. My struggle is implementing quality time just listening to God. I follow Him and I know that I'm just where He wants me to be and doing just what He wants me to be doing. I know that firmly. The problem is: I don't spend enough time with Him. The last few weeks, I have began to try to mentally stop myself being negative. I sometimes don't always say out loud negative things (although being completely honest I say plenty of negative things out loud too), and I do think negative things a lot. 
Negative things about myself, negative things about others, just plain negative, hateful things. 

So in an effort to be the best me I can be....
I've started stopping myself when I start to think something negative - whatever it may be - and I think about it, why am I thinking this way, what can I do to change thinking this way, would God want me to think this way? No, He wouldn't - so I say a prayer and stop the negative voices in my head and think only of something good. Sometimes I've even written down things in my journal to pray about to stop my negative voices.
You know, I don't know if I am just a negative Nelly or what...but doing that - stopping yourself from negative talk, thoughts, actions....that's hard. But the good news is...I'm getting faster at recognizing my descent into negative hell and stopping myself.

Do I have bad days? 
Oh yes I do! Yesterday was one. I was having a mad day. Maybe its hormonal, I don't know. But I was plainly having a mad day. I was in the thick of being a negative Nelly. 
This one wasn't doing right. 
That one wasn't doing right. 
I wasn't doing right.
 Nothing I did was right.
Nothing they did was right.
How can anybody stand me? (I think this a lot)
 After thoroughly immersing myself and steeping in negativity for a couple of hours I stopped myself. Why was I doing this?
Simply put: I was feeling sorry for myself. Why? I don't know necessarily other than the let down of the holidays. Keith was gone. The kids were all at work or doing something with friends. I was alone in my house with my cats (and they didn't even want to be around me)  and everyone else was having a big life and I was alone.
I said a prayer
  (and ate a piece of cake...which didn't help and made me feel worse...but I did it and I'll admit it)

I said another prayer and then I listened to a video that a friend sent me, that in reality spoke to the chaos in my head and the chaos that reigns in our world, but also spoke to the solace to which I cling.
If you'd like to watch the video, it is: HERE 

So my prayer was answered.
And I picked myself up by my boot straps, with my head and heart firmly planted in positive, reaffirmed my path and marched on. Because you know, we all make mistakes and I've got to learn (finally) the lesson that I have struggled with for 46 years: I make mistakes frequently, but that doesn't mean that makes me less. In fact, through the hard knocks of life...it just makes me a better me.

Make straight your paths....
and walk with me.

Until the next time lets....
Stitch all the things.
Think positive.
Love one another.
Love ourselves.
Pray.

(and I'm going to add one for me: only eat cake once in a while...)

Love and Hugs in stitches, 
Vonna xxxx